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WHAT PRICE GRADUATE EDUCATION?

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

The most cursory reader of the articles written for the Crimson by the deans of the graduate schools cannot but be impressed by the optimistic vein of the contributions so far published. Nearly every dean discussed facts and figures of employment and special problems related to his field with wholly admirable address and frankness.

Dean Sperry finds 100% employment of his graduates, Professor Menhinick of the Regional Planning Department of the School of Design discovers not only full employment, but an unsurfeited demand for more technicians, Dean Hudnut of the School of Design writes in this issue in a generally favorable manner, and Dean Donham of the Business School finds 90% employment of his graduates throughout the depression. These reports are highly significant and especially Dean Donham's, whose position makes him uniquely qualified to feel the pulse of business activity.

These reports stand on their own merits and are not lightly to be dismissed. But it is permissable to raise some perennial questions which the roseate hue of the reports cannot entirely overcome. First and foremost, of course, comes the large but purely utilitarian problem, is graduate study truly an economic investment? Time was when this admitted only an affirmative answer, with statistical accounting used as corroborative evidence. But today there is considerable skepticism; the chill wind of depression has not swept over college graduates for nothing.

The negative side of the picture is not unknown. Often the phrase "half a lifetime being educated" crops up. But more than that, suppose a graduate student spends his early twenties being educated and manages to secure a job. What then of the end result; is his income necessarily and measurably more comfortable than that of the unadorned college graduate? Or perhaps, after he has had graduate work and becomes a job-holder, there may be five years "with a reputable firm" on a pittance which is not by any stroke of the imagination a living wage. The architect is often a case in point.

Queries of this sort are often propounded but seldom answered by many men, often in the business world themselves, who hold anything from a B.A. to a doctorate. There are, of course, other elements which may bulk larger than economic gain alone. Personal abilities and social-utility considerations--as is usually true of medical, and divinity students--may count for a great deal more, but however much a man may be compounded of ideals, the practical aspects have some appeal, particularly when account is taken of the sacrifices often involved. It is knowledge, or rather a larger, even if not conclusive, consideration of this topic that most embryo graduate students are especially anxious to discover.

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